Matt James, the newest bachelor on ABC’s popular dating show is letting his faith lead the way this season.
Following a series of bizarre limo entrances, James told host Chris Harrison that he was nervous. Once the outdoor introductions were over, he walked inside the mansion to finally greet the women collectively.
"I had so long to think about what I'm going to say to you all, and I'm going to take a different approach," James told the ladies before kicking things off with a prayer. "So if everybody can just bow their head really quick, I'm going to pray for everyone."
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for bringing us all together healthy. Give these women the courage to get through these next few months,” James said in the premiere. “You say that you work all things for the good of those who love you and are called according to your purpose, Father God. And I feel like that’s why I’m here and I feel like that’s why these women are here, Lord.”
In his prayer, James quoted Romans 8:28 and after his petition to God was complete, many of the girls were impressed. One contestant was even brought to tears and revealed that his prayer touched her “soul.”
In the show's opening, James explained that he was raised by his mother in a single-parent home with his brother. He credited his mother for raising him in the Christian faith.
James revealed to Refinery29 why he decided to open the secular show with a prayer.
“It wasn’t difficult. Because that’s something that’s extremely important to me,” he commented. “But, I’ll say this: My brother and I have very different religious views — and I would die for him. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my brother. That goes to say, just because I don’t share the same religious view as somebody doesn’t mean I see them as any less of a person I could be compatible with. But I think it’s important that they know where my peace comes from and where my decision making is rooted in.”
In the last season of “The Bachelorette,” the leading lady, Tayshia Adams, waited until the end of the series to reveal that different religious views was a deal-breaker for her. James said he wanted to set the standard from the beginning.
“We’re both trying to figure each other out. If that’s a dealbreaker for them, then I’d rather them know that about me so that I’m not wasting their time,” he added.
He went on to say that he and the women on the dating show talked about faith “a decent amount” among other things such as race.
“Nothing was a dealbreaker. It’s just important that you know where each other stands so that we can talk about it. If there’s no conversation then there’s no resolution. You can't expect someone to understand something they’ve never been educated on or talked about,” James maintained.